In Last Week Tonight’s return, John Oliver breaks down Medicare for All

John Oliver (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
John Oliver (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images) /

The season seven premiere of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver explained the Medicare for All issue.

The long wait finally came to an end last night on HBO. After three months, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver finally returned to kick off its seventh season. The late night show did so with a bang, tackling one of the biggest issues in the 2020 election.

Fans last saw Last Week Tonight in Nov. 2019. John Oliver closed out season six with a segment on the census, bringing to end a season that covered everything from weather forecasting to election security to Sherpa people.

Sunday night’s season seven premiere continued the tradition of highlighting a major political topic. Rather than address the impeachment trial or President Donald Trump’s acquittal, Last Week Tonight instead turned its attention to perhaps the biggest policy topic among Democratic candidates: Medicare for All.

The issue is sure to be a major factor in determining who will be the Democratic nominee to take on President Trump in the Nov. election. Here, Oliver once again informs and entertains his audience as he explains the costs, changes, and benefits of Medicare for All.

Like he has been doing for years, Oliver is able to give a quality, big picture view of the issue. Last Week Tonight knows it isn’t supposed to be a news source for its viewers but the truth is that many fans do look to Oliver for information. Here, he is able to give a simplified answer to “what is Medicare for All?” and note which Democratic candidates support it, which are a little more wary, and why Republicans are against it.

And as always, Last Week Tonight has the facts and research to back up everything that Oliver discusses. He cites statistics on the under-insured and the uninsured when pushing back against the argument that America has the best healthcare system in the world.

Oliver’s segment hits on the three main criticisms of Medicare for All: cost, wait times, and choice. In each of his rebuttals, Oliver does what cable news shows often do not: provide context. Oliver admits that the topic of Medicare for All is complex and there are a number of variables to account for and some consequences can’t possibly be known yet.

This segment was a nice reminder of how much late night television, pop culture, and more need Last Week Tonight. It’s hard to compare the show to anything else even while it addresses the same topics and issues as everything else on television, social media, or anywhere else.

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It shouldn’t surprise anyone to see Last Week Tonight with John Oliver pick up right where it left off. The show remains one of the most well-written and executed shows in all of television, not just late night. With a long time to go before the election in November, let’s hope John Oliver will be breaking down more of the most important topics of the year.